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The Importance of Paint Solvent In Paint Application


Paint solvent is an essential ingredient of all paints, and it plays an important role in the application of paint, regardless of the manner of application. Paints are comprised of three major constituents: the pigment, resin (or the binder), and the paint solvent. Specialty paints may also include additives to imbue the paint with special properties, such as strength or fire resistance.


Paint solvent helps control the viscosity of paint, gives a smoother finish and can make the paint longer lasting too.


The role of the paint solvent is to help spread the paint on the surface on which it is to be applied. Without paint solvent, the extremely viscous mixture of resin and pigment will make application of the paint an extremely arduous and inconsistent process. It is for this reason paint solvent is also called paint thinner.


Paints vary the amount of paint solvent for a variety of reasons. This depends on the surface on which the paint is to be applied and what viscosity of paint is most favorable for painting on that surface. Paint solvent also affects the drying time of the paint, an important consideration if time to completion is an important factor, or if the evaporation time of the paint solvent is critical for the finish of the paint application. Finally, the amount of paint solvent determines the thickness or thinness of the paint. This reflects in its ‘quality’. Thinner paints are traditionally considered lower quality as compared to thicker paints, which contain a greater ratio of pigment against the paint solvent.


Paint solvent is commonly made from organic compounds, making it longer lasting, more effective per part, and ultimately a higher grade of paint. Water too is used as solvent, however it is not as a durable and cannot be suited as much as an oil-based paint solvent for a particular job.


There are several benefits to using high quality solvents. Not least, a better finish of the finished paint application. They lead to a smoother surface of the paint, one which is also more durable. The paint is more likely to resist spills and stains. Solvents also lend a protective coat to the paint, giving it a glossier look and a thin protective coating.


Solvents are used extremely commonly in paints, but, while lesser known, their uses in household cleaners and cosmetic products. Solvents are even used in the pharmaceutical industry in manufacturing.